Author's Note: I welcome you all and thank you for taking time out the read my literary offering. I trust you will enjoy your stay.
How to Train Your Dragon is one of my favorite films, I have seen it over thirty times in theater alone and countless times on dvd. So I couldn't help but see kinds of fanfiction was on offer and many I have found were well written and to my liking. I was also inspired by many to try my own hand at crafting a story for the HTTYD universe.
One story I would recommend is, Dragonbreath, by author darkdaylight. It is a wonderfully written story with a lovely mix of great narrative subtle emotions. It can be found here at www. fanfiction s/ 5978239 /1/
Currently this story is takes place an undetermined bout of time before the start of the film. It will be following much of the what was covered in the film with some deviations and twists of its own thrown in because of the new influences on events. I do hope you will all enjoy it enough to comment.
The Isle of Berk, home to the Hairy Hooligans, a mighty tribe of Viking warriors. Berk is a land plagued by troubles. Whether they be raids from other tribes of Vikings or the raids of the mighty and ferocious dragons that roam the skies, or even those that originate from within their number. And yet they make the best of what they have and whatever happens, happens. But when someone from our world is somehow washes up on their shores how will the tribe react to the appearance of the outsider? And just what could it mean?
The sun was slow to rouse itself from its nightly slumber.
Eventually dawn moved into to reclaim the sky as it returned to its usual light blue. Peeking over the horizon the sun cast the first rays of golden warmth on the island spread before it. In response many of the island inhabitants began to stir, awakening from their own respite to face what the new day would bring. And so it was the same for the occupants of the isle's sole village. This was the village of Berk, home to at least seven generations of Vikings belonging to the Hairy Hooligan tribe.
Once the sun had crept high enough the crows of roosters echoed throughout the village of Berk. Such obnoxious sounds having little trouble waking the community's residents as they reluctantly left their warm comfortable beds to start the day.
"Hiccup, wake up boy" a man's thunderous voice carried through the small house before reaching the ears of the intended recipient.
With a protracted groan the figure lying in bed gradually began to wake. The sheet covered figured rose as it moved to sit-up on the simple mattress looking like a bad ghost imitation. A moment later a hand emerged from beneath the cover, reaching up to take hold of a handful of cloth and gave it a good yank. The flimsy cloth fell away revealing the young Viking lad.
He sat on the bed, his shaggy medium length dark auburn hair matted and ruffled from the night of tossing and turning on the pillow. Eyelids peeled back allowing his pale green eyes to wander about his room as he yawned smacking his lips together in an effort to get some saliva flowing in his dry mouth. A light spackling of freckles broke up the fair complexion of the teen's thin face, but overall he was rather ordinary. Throwing his feet over the edge of the bed he moved to stand and stretch removing any tension from the night's rest. While not tall he was far from short and his lanky form was seemingly far removed from the other more burly appearing Viking teens. It was something that showed as the sleeping garments were obviously meant for one larger than he was as they hung loosely on his form.
With another yawn he strode acrossed the room making his way to the heavy trunk sat on the opposite side of the room from his bed. No sooner had he reached the bulky chest the sound footsteps approaching his door from the hall garnered his attention.
"Hiccup, are you up yet?" his father's voice cut through the wooden obstruction with little trouble.
The Viking lad turned to regard the door, "Yeah dad. I'm…up" he responded with a brief yawn.
His father didn't respond merely turning he walked away from the door and back down the hall. Listening to the retreating footfalls Hiccup returned to digging through the trunk for clothes to wear. Rising up the teen tucked the bundled clothing under his arm before using his left foot to shut the lid on the trunk. His selection in hand he turned crossing the room to toss the clothes onto his bed. Undoing the sash tied around his waist the sleeping garb slid from Hiccup's shoulders to land in a crumpled heap on the floor about his feet.
The brisk morning air was made to feel even cooler now with the loss of the extra layer of cloth to keep him warm. Even with his long thermals covering his lower extremities a drafty breeze to his nether regions still sent a shiver through his body.
Detangling the clothing bundle he was quick to grab his pants. Bending down he held them open inserting one foot then the other, then pulled them up to his waist where he fastened the ties but not too tightly as to be uncomfortable. Next Hiccup picked up the long-sleeved green tunic and slipped it on over his head letting it fall into place over his torso with the bottom edge falling to mid-thigh. Then came the simple brown sash to keep the bottom of his tunic from hanging loosely.
Finally came the last pieces of his ensemble. Kneeling down he withdrew a pair of boots from under the bed, the boots were made of softened leather upper and a multi-layered thickened outsole, with a black dyed fur insert that covered the top of the boot which insulated the upper leg. Taking a seat on the edge of his bed it was easy enough to slip them on over his sock covered feet.
Rising up from the bed Hiccup took a last glance about his room before making his way to the door and exiting the room.
In the hall his footsteps were barely heard on the heavy wooden floorboards in contrast to his father's thudding footfalls. At the end of the hall he descended the short staircase making his way into the main space of the house. Here pale green eyes looked over the assortment of decorations that adorned the walls.
Swords, axes and shields from battles long past. Various animal hides, all of which were from rather dangerous beasts, hung spread on nails or lay on the floor. All of these things had been passed down the family line with each consecutive generation adding to the collective accomplishment with their own trials and tribulations. However, to Hiccup they tended to serve a very different purpose. They didn't inspire him or fill him with pride for his lineage. Instead these artifacts served to remind the teen of his own failings at being a Viking and just how far he had to go before he could measure up.
Already seated on of the long benches was only other occupant of the house. Hiccup's father, Stoick the Vast, chief of the Hairy Hooligan tribe.
"Bout' time you be getting up lad" looking up from the boiling pot before him, the Viking chief watched his approach. "Here," reaching aside Stoick retrieved a bowl into which he dished out a hefty serving "A hearty breakfast to keep your strength up for the day."
Hiccup moved forwards to collect his bowl from his father before taking a seat on the bench opposite him. The stew was the same as it had been the night before, lumpy and pretty bland. While it might not have been the best tasting thing in the world it was still edible. Especially when compared to some of the other dishes his father had tried his hands at making. A great leader and warrior Stoick have been, but alas the title of chef was not to be added to his repertoire.
Bringing spoonful after spoonful to feed their hungry stomachs the pair ate in an uncomfortable silence. It wasn't that they were not willing to talk, it was just the father and son didn't really know exactly what to talk about.
To the son, his father was a rather daunting individual. As the clan's chief, Stoick had garnered quite the reputation to the point where he was regarded almost as a living legend in his own right. With his imposing physique he was well known for his prowess. But more so he was known for his strength of will. If Vikings were considered stubborn, then Stoick was downright impossible. His determination had seen the village through lean summers and long winters. Once he set his mind on something he wouldn't stop until it was done and it took something truly monumental to change his decision. Hiccup's father was the epitome of what a Viking aspired to be. But you see this was also a problem.
It was hard enough living in the same village as such a person. But being in direct relation to them was something else entirely. The biggest of these reasons was the near constant comparison between them and the expectations to live up to. But also it was because Stoick exuded such confidence and strength that it made him a rather intimidating individual to approach and talk to, especially for Hiccup whom confidence and strength were in short supply.
To the father, his son was something different to say the least. Hiccup was an oddity amongst the Viking village; he lacked the developing musculature of his peers giving him a scrawnier appearance than the others of his age group. But what really set the lad apart from the rest was what some called strange behavior. He was constantly thinking of all manner of things with some so abstract that Stoick couldn't grasp just what he was on about. Like the time Stoick took his son on an outing, the young boy didn't seem to pay a lick of attention to a word he had said. Instead Hiccup kept asking about legends of the forest like Ents, and when it came time to set up camp he would wander off to hunt for trolls. The Viking chief had tried several times to talk with his son about the usual stuff: dragon fighting, hunting, fishing, sailing even. Though there were some topics that even Stoick skirted about, like the topic of women. All that had happened then was a few random syllables and the pair had sat in a very uncomfortable silence for the next five minutes until they couldn't take it anymore and went their separate ways.
And it wasn't like Hiccup didn't show enthusiasm and desire to succeed as a Viking. It was just unfortunate that none of the lad's plans never seemed to work out the way he wanted them to. And this usually ended with the same result, him being left to run damage control and clean up any mess that was left behind by Hiccup's latest idea. Still Stoick could not fault his son for trying but it just seemed Hiccup was going about things all the wrong way at times.
As they sat contemplating what if anything to say to the other time seemed to pass by all too quickly and before they knew it they had finished the morning meal. Finishing the last of what was on his plate Hiccup moved to the back of the room depositing his bowl into the washing pail. A move that Stoick mimicked with his own before crossing to the room to wait by the door for his son to join him.
Opening the door the pair and stepping outside the pair was met the bright rays of the morning sun. The stark contrast between the fire lit room and out here forced them to squint until their eyes had adjusted.
With the house situated at the top of a small hill at the northern most part of the village gave a great vantage point to overlook the village below and much of the surrounding area.
Clearing his throat Stoick turned to his son, "Alright you best be getting down to Gobber." Hiccup merely gave a small nod of understanding as he slipped on the furred vest he carried. "Good, now off with ya." With a brief nod of his own Stoick watched as his son turned and strode down the old stone pathway that led to the village 'Odin, let the boy stay out of trouble for atleast one day.'
Many of the villagers were already up and roving about, and just about all of them still carrying around groggy expressions. But all as they started to wake up fully the villagers started to get into the swing of things quickly falling into their usual routines. The anglers prepared for a day's fishing out at sea, the shepherds herding out to look after the flocks, hunters geared up for an excursion into the forest, while the rest just tended to the various things around the village.
Making his way along the main village thoroughfare Hiccup followed a path he had tread many times between the rows of houses that lined the sides. All along the way the teen made sure to say out of the way of the other villagers. No need to start the day off on a bad note afterall. But regrettably his day was about to get a taste of sour as the fates would not be so kind.
"Just where are you off to, Useless?" a voice called out from behind.
Hiccup halted, his shoulders sagging as he hung his head lower. Turning around slowly he sought to see who had addressed him as such. But in truth Hiccup needn't really look as he already knew just who it was.
Standing a short distance away was a small group of the village teens. In the forefront Snotlout sat on a crate and behind him stood the fraternal siblings, Ruffnut and Tuffnut, alongside a few others. All wearing the same sneer.
"Oh hey guys" Hiccup replied with a half-hearted wave "You know just the usual heading to Gobber's shop."
Snotlout hopped off the crate and the group slowly began to approach the lanky teen. "Well then better be sure not to strain yourself, Hiccup" Snotlout jeered "We know those hammers can be awfully heavy." Behind their leader the twins mimed struggling with a hammer.
"Yeah, with all those sharp blades lying around we wouldn't want you to end up like Gobber." At Tuffnut's comment the gaggle of teenagers broke into a fit of brisk laughter, however, their jovial mood was about be interrupted.
"Oh and what's wrong with being like me?" a voice cut through the group's mirth.
There was a quick intake in their breath as the laughter died out. The group lost their laughing expressions as they slowly turned to the right to see a rather unamused looking Gobber.
The older Viking had come from one of the path's smaller offshoots and now stood less than ten feet away. His arms were crossed over his chest, his head inclined slightly as he peered down at the trouble making youngsters. The typical easygoing manner in which he carried himself had disappeared entirely and now was replaced by the stern persona of a warrior.
"Uh we…uh…ah just…" Snotlout stuttered as he found himself caught in the elder Viking's glare.
"Mmhmm" Gobber's glare seemed to harden before he strode forwards. Leaning in close the Viking smith moving from teen to teen, "Go on now before I decide to add some new training dummies to my workshop."
Nodding vigorously the group did an about face and quickly scattered as they retreated into the distance.
Hiccup and Gobber remained long enough to see them as they rushed through the village. The Viking smith chuckled when Tuffnut had the fortune that as he ran he happened to go face first into a large log in the process of being hoisted. This effectively clothes lined the teen and laid him out flat.
"Pay them no mind, Hiccup" Gobber offered in reassurance. "Well shall we be off" turning he gave his apprentice a good solid pat on the back before moving off.
This good natured thump nearly bowled Hiccup but he managed to recover quick enough and with a barely audible sigh fell in line behind his mentor. The rest of the journey to the uneventful and the pair soon arrived at the smithery on the near the edge of the village. Upon entering the shop Hiccup glanced about at the myriad of weapons, tools and various other iron items that sat awaiting to be repaired and returned to their owners. As he moved to retrieve his apron his ears were met with the sounds of metal clanking. Sure enough Gobber had taken up his usual position by the large anvil, his normal hook prosthetic already replaced by a hammer variant which was being used to shape a lump of steel.
Putting on his apron Hiccup moved acrossed the workspace to take a position to aid Gobber. In doing so he couldn't help feel a sense of déjà vu, after all this was the same routine he had been a part of years now. Looking over he regarded his mentor and just how he had come to be apprenticed to him.
The older Viking's appearance was a bit of an unusual sight in the village.
Gobber had been a good friend of Hiccup's father for as long as anyone could remember. He was a seasoned veteran when it came to combating dragons, as evidenced by the missing portions of his lower right leg and his left hand. While losing a limb or two to the dragons would have had put most Vikings out of commission the same wasn't said for Gobber. He had simply improvised and made himself a replacement for each. But the damage had been done and with his lowered combat prowess the Council had placed him in charge of the armory and smithery. Though when the raids came about and things got a bit too hairy, Gobber was still one to charge into the thick of things and lend a hand in turning the tides.
So with him effectively being best friends with his dad and Hiccup needing some kind of role in the village it was little surprise this was where Stoick had placed him. Under his tutelage Hiccup had learned much and was quite thankful for that. And on a plus side it helped to give him an outlet for his high energy.
The lad wasn't allowed to dwell too long in memories before his mentor's voice dragged him back.
"Huh…wha" the teen responded.
"I said hand me that piece there" the Viking's prosthetic pointing the direction.
Gobber tracked the teen's movement as he sought the item his mentor had requested. The lad had been his assistant since he was waist high to the smith, placed there by Stoick as a way to keep the boy supervised and out of trouble. Hiccup made a fine assistant, eager and always ready to learn whatever lesson the smith had to teach. In his spare time the boy was typically tinkering with all manner of things. Gobber was proud that the teen had learned the lessons well and put them to use. However, his sometimes overzealous attempts to prove himself which combined with his unfortunate luck would undo his good intentions.
In the long run, putting Hiccup under his keeping seemed to do little good in keeping him from trouble. All it did was seem to give the boy a new medium in which to dabble and get into a whole new type of mischief.
Shaking his head the smith returned to the present as Hiccup approached. Holding out his hand the teen laid the tool in his palm before returning to his own work. Moving off Hiccup picked up another pair of badly bent swords and placed them over the coals. Then once more working the bellows he stoked the furnace with fresh air and the coals glowed brighter and hotter, this heat was quickly transferred to the metal readying it for Gobber to work with.
Being busy really helped one lose track of time and it seemed to just slip by without notice by the pair. Hours had gone by before Gobber and Hiccup had decided to stop for the day and go see about scrounging up something to eat.
Hiccup's own stomach was in agreement. Roving about he went about tidying up the workshop before hanging up his apron on the peg beside Gobber's own. Turning the teen left the shop behind as he hurried to catch up to Gobber as he made for the Great Hall and promise of lunch. Along the way to the hall, however, the pair's focus was sidetracked when a throng of villagers rushed passed them all heading in the opposite direction.
"What's goin' on?" Gobber questioned as he helped his apprentice steady himself after being bumped rather roughly by another villager.
When the older Vikings inquiries went unheeded gave both pause and piqued their curiosity. Choosing to hold off on satisfying their appetite the two turned and pursued the stream of other villagers as they made their way towards the harbor. Soon enough the two joined the amassed crowd standing on the cliffs overlooking the marina.
The crowd was alive with murmurs and discussions so much so one bled into another. Not content to just stand at the back of the horde both Gobber and Hiccup carefully made their way through to the front.
Here they found Stoick. The Viking chieftain stood away from the gathering near the edge of the cliff face beside the village Elder. The two villager leaders appeared to be discussing of importance judging by the look Stoick wore upon his features. Taking Hiccup by the arm Gobber towed the teen along behind him as he strode towards his friend.
"Stoick," the smith announced his approach "What's going on? Is it a raid?"
Stoick turned at the sound of his friend's voice garnered his attention. At this close a distance Gobber was better able to see the expression of uneasiness Stoick carried about his face. In all the long years the pair had known each Gobber had rarely seen such a look and could count all the times on a single hand. Not that he had much choice in that matter. But seeing the look now gave the Viking smith reason to worry.
Stoick turned taking a few steps back from his place besides the Elder. He regarded his friend for a moment before he even noticed the smaller form of his son standing behind him. "Tis' no raid, Gobber" the chieftain turned away looking back out to the sea and lifting his right arm pointed to a spot on the horizon.
Tilting their heads back both Gobber and Hiccup's gaze followed the direction of Stoick's gesture. It was then for the first time did they notice what the others had already been aware of for some time and was the reason for this commotion. It was sight that had them just as worried and entranced as the rest.
On the horizon something was gathering.
Where the divide between sky and sea met was a growing blackness. It was almost like a literal hole in the sky had opened up somehow. And now great masses of pitch black clouds moved in a spiral like pattern swirling out in all directions from a central point. The jagged edges were thin and wispy not like the typical thick bulky edges of a storm cloud. Below it cast shadows so dark that they seemed to swallow up everything beneath them as if it had ceased to exist. But most extraordinary were the enormous bolts of purple lightning that would occasionally light up the darkness for a scant moment before they too were swallowed up by the black abyss. Every now and again one would streak out from the spirals outer edge to cut a path acrossed the sky like a skeletal hand reaching out to grasp something.
This was no natural phenomenon; this strange thing was being conjured into the world by something. Something powerful.
The sight was as memorizing as it was terrifying. Yet there was something that disturbed the Vikings even more. Whatever this was, this dark storm, it was an omen of something but the question was what?
But what troubled Hiccup most was not the storm itself.
Blocking out the background noises of the murmuring crowds he had noticed the eerie silence that had overtaken the region. Gone were the sounds of the sea gulls or the sounds of waves crashing on the rocks below. Taking a few steps passed where his father and Gobber were locked in conversation the teen peered down at the harbor below. There were no waves. The sea had gone completely flat, even the gentle oceanic breeze had disappeared. All he could hear were the fearful whispers and chatter of the gathered villagers.
Squinting his eyes Hiccup tried his best to discern anything of the apparent storm, for lack of a better word, as he observed it as it continued to grow unchecked. The longer he stared at it the more noticed that it wasn't truly expanding but moving.
It wasn't drifting as a normal storm would have but actively moving in their direction. But with no wind to guide it, it went against everything they had ever seen before. It was like some great consuming hunger was stretching forth its gaping maw to devour all in its wake.
Turning away Hiccup looked back to his father, "What is it, dad?"
"I don't know, Hiccup" Stoick responded placing a comforting hand on his son's shoulder. He could read the anxiety clear on the lad's face before he returned his gaze to the horizon "I don't know."
Shifting unsteadily with her walking stick the Elder calmly strode passed the father-son duo to stand at the very edge of the cliff face. Allowing her weight to rest against the staff she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Slowly she opened them again to look at the approaching shadows, gripping her walking staff tighter in one hand the Elder's other hand rose to point at the oncoming mass.
Watching this Stoick immediately held his own hand in the air to the crowd, who upon seeing the gesture quickly quieted down.
"Do not be fooled by its devilish disguise," the Elder's words echoed in the ears of those listening "It be no storm of nature but something powerful be its driving force." Once again gripping the staff she pivoted her gaze meeting that of Stoick, "Something is coming!"